Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas lights

Lights on the reflection pool

Nativity in the middle of the reflection pool

So Scott's work closed for over a week and wouldn't let him in. And the kids have a 2 week break. I was a little worried about what we would do with all that family time. Besides kill each other, of course. We've had a good time, though. We got to have dinner and play games with our friends from AZ, the Henlines. We had dinner and went up to Salt Lake Temple Square to see the lights with the Massengales. It was so crowded. I forget how big of a city that place is getting to be. We were also able to take the kids to see the Joseph Smith movie. It was as good as I remembered. I was hoping the kids would recognize some of the places we went and visited this summer, but not so much. We went mini-golfing and to Pizza Pie Cafe with Ben and Cami and kids. And I am finally catching up on my blog and my new calling as music leader for the Primary! But as it snowed about 10 inches yesterday and the temperature dropped down to the teens, we are hibernating now. So here come the movies and Wii time!


Soran loves her new Princess couch

Cracker hats

Kylee helping Soran with her massive sucker from Grandma

Gingerbread houses

We had a really good Christmas this year. Although getting ready was very hectic. I haven't been able to post for awhile because I got a seasonal job taking phone orders and was working full time. When that was over I had a week and half to get everything ready. I never realized how much work it is until I had a limited time to do it!
I lucked out this year and got a gingerbread village, so each kid (plus Scott) got their own house to decorate. They turned out pretty cute, I think. We went to the annual Thompson Mexican dinner and white elephant gift exchange. We walked away with some books and a slightly used glass bowl. My family did an unpracticed nativity with all the grandkids on Christmas Eve which turned out cute and chaotic at the same time. Then we went to Thompsons where the kids were completely spoiled, as usual. We went home and had our English crackers and got ready for bed. This was the first year the kids woke up before us. They were up at 5:50! And I think this is the first year I could have slept in rather than waking them up. Then we went to Aunt Julie's house for crepes. Then to Tangled, which Soran let me sit most of the way through. And then NAPS and then Christmas dinner at Grandma's. It was a nice day and I think our kids are totally spoiled. But I am glad for the season and the spirit it brings and the remembrance of our Savior and his earthly life.


Lobster dinner, anyone?

Amazing variety

Lyssa petting the stingray

Can you see the frog under all those kids?

Soran and the ghost fish

I have wanted to take the kids to the aquarium for a long time but it's expensive. So when my friend told me they were having a free day, we went. Even though the line wrapped around three sides of the building outside in December. Actually, the weather was nice and they were handing out smoothies while we waited so it wasn't too bad. And I was really glad we took the time. It was fun and interesting. They had starfish, crabs and stingrays to pet. Although Christian wouldn't touch the stingrays despite really wanting to. He would beg me to help him, and I would take his hand and hold it into the water, but as soon as a ray got close, he was outta there. Soran loved the kids place where there were lots of aquariums on her eye level. Lyssa and Amber liked seeing the sharks and petting the stingrays. We saw an electric eel that was connected to a Christmas tree and when it would move the lights would light up. And we saw an octopus all scrunched up. They are really smart! They can unscrew the top and get out of their tanks. And I think the pictures say the rest!

Thanksgiving 2010

One of the really great perks of being by both our families is I don't have to cook much for holidays. It's awesome. This year we were able to squeeze in two Thanksgiving feasts and I got away with making jell-o salad, rolls and a relish tray.

We have had so much to be grateful for this year. Scott graduated with his MBA and got a job--with insurance, thank goodness. My health has been a lot better and I was able to run a 5k. Alyssa discovered the joy of ballroom dancing. Christian got baptized and found he loves piano. Amber got more time for art projects and dance. Livi loves her preschool and "prins." And Soran, well, Soran is grateful to still be alive after the year she's had. We are grateful for the many blessings we have and the life we enjoy.

Hiking the Y

The kids mastering chopsticks

View from the top

We made it!!! (finally)

Ever since we moved to Utah, Alivia has been in love with the mountains. Almost every day when we drive she looks up and says, "Mom, those are big, big mountains." Then one day she started telling me that she had a house on the mountain with the Y. She was quite insistent and pointed at the same spot every time. We have been meaning to climb up to see it, but haven't had the time until recently. We had the most amazing fall and the weather was beautiful clear into November.
I have hiked this particular trail before, and told Scott that when we parked and the Y looked so close it was an illusion. You think it will take about 20 minutes, but it is a hard, uphill trail. The kids did very well, but it took us an hour and a half to get to the top. Going downhill was almost as hard to keep from slipping. Then we took them to a local Hawaiian favorite, and they had a good time.
We also hiked to the hot springs with the Massengales. It was probably the most beautiful path I have ever been on. The leaves were gold and pink (I forgot my camera of course), the weather was perfect and the hot springs were HOT. You couldn't even get in some of them. The hike took a little over an hour each way, and we were really tired by the end. I carried Liv most of the way back and Scott carried Soran there and back. Can't wait to do it again when they're older!

Daddy time

There's a Wocket in my Pocket

I love all the slack jaws while staring at the TV.

While I feel that most of the "activities" Scott does with the kids are a big waste of time, they love it. He lets them play a lot more electronics than I do and they are really excited when I have meetings or something to go to. I know, they love me, right?
But I understand that daddy time is different than it is with me. And sometimes I wish more of the time I spent with them was fun and not so much day-to-day stuff. He does little of the disciplining and that works out because he has a hard time being strict with them. I love having girls because they have him wrapped around their little fingers. But in the end I'm glad for the example he is for them and that he plays with them even when I think they could be doing something more constructive. One day they will realize they have such a great dad.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Chocolatey unicorn face--I love the teeth

A witch, a unicorn, a zombie, a Cinderella princess and an Indian princess

Carving pumpkins--a cat, a goomba, stars and stripes and a painted face

People ask me what I'm going to dress up as for Halloween. I just roll my eyes. By the time I get 5 kids dressed up 3 times each for different parties and trick-or-treating, I don't even want to think about changing clothes or putting makeup on.
We had a fun year this year. We went to the school carnival, the Nightmare Express which was a small real train and you ride through some haunted tunnels, a haunted house and Scott's work party. We also squeezed in some scary movies. Carving pumpkins this year was much easier. Alyssa and Amber helped clean them out and then they all carved at least a little of their own pumpkin. Not nearly as much work as usual. Alivia painted a cute face on hers but then got so excited she painted all over it and it was a big mess by the time she was done, especially as Soran was helping. On the 30th we went to our ward trunk-or-treat which was held inside because it was raining. Then we raced up to Scott's parents house and did a little door-to-door just to let the kids see how it was in the good old days. Then we went to the other grandparents' and had caramel apples (I asked for something healthy). Then we came home and put the kids to bed and played games with Ben and Cami. We should have enough candy to last until next year.


October has turned into one big party...

Alyssa and Alexis at their first dance competition

Evening at the Ritz (stake semi-formal dance for adults). We got a group together and went out for dinner beforehand and Scott got me a beautiful pink corsage. They had dance instruction which was forgotten as soon as it ended, but we had a great time.

Scout trip to the fire station--Christian trying on their 90 pounds of gear

Livi's preschool field trip to HeeHaws farm--picking out a pumpkin

Livi, Soran and I on the hayride

Soran digging in the sand--that girl is a little pigpen

Alyssa playing flag football--they won about half their games

Other highlights of the month: Alyssa and Christian being chosen at Super Sentinels (students for the quarter who excel academically), Scott passing the FBI exam, Lehi Trafalga a couple times and seeing "Despicable Me" at the movie theatre over spring break, hiking to the hot springs up Spanish Fork canyon (it was so beautiful), and I got a job so I can pay off my hospital bills. I'm going to be a seasonal employee taking orders for gift baskets at home. It's full-time which has me very nervous, but it's only a few weeks, and we can do anything for that long. I just hope the kids' teeth don't rot out of their heads and they get showers. Sometimes those things don't quite get done when Dad's around. We've already had one snow shower, but we took it in stride this year. We've had a beautiful, long fall. I hope I've stored up enough sun to last all winter.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Impromptu family pic

I love fall in Utah. The leaves are so beautiful, there are fruit and vegetable stands everywhere and the weather has been gorgeous. Although the nip in the air makes me dread the winter coming. We went for our drive up the canyon and got some pictures. The leaves weren't quite as brilliant as last year and there was a big fire in Salt Lake so the air is kind of hazy. But it was still amazing. The kids were already practiced up on their "oohs" and "aahs" and I think they actually enjoyed going this year.

I have never been into football, but this year we have become fans. Scott decided to play with his cousins and has had a good time. Except maybe the fist fight last week. They are getting pretty competitive. The first few games were early so I took the kids and didn't get a chance to watch, but now they're later in the evening so I put the kids to bed and go. It's fun to watch him and hang out with Holly and Grandma. Alyssa has also been enjoying her season. She has improved a lot. She was nervous when she found out she was the only girl on her team, but she's used to it and plays as well as they do. I will try and get some pics this week.

She LOVES her ballroom class (had I known how expensive that would be I might have changed my mind).And reading, of course. She's been inhaling about 2 books a day. She also had a campout with her class a couple weekends ago. Scott went with them and the got to rock climb, canoe, do obstacle courses and have smores. Spoiled girl.

Christian loves his piano lessons. He is a natural. He goes through about 4 songs a lesson and his timing is really good. First thing he asks when he wakes up is if he can go practice. I am so happy he's addicted so something other than an electronic device. Grandma and Grandpa took him to an air show in Wendover a couple weeks ago. He had a really good time, but I think his favorite part was going to the dollar store and buying toys and junk food. When he got home from his fun-filled day, he asked if he could have something healthy to eat. It was funny.

Amber smashed her finger last week in the car door when I dropped her off for dance class. Poor girl. It was pretty gross but she's doing okay. I gave her a special day off from school because she needed some attention and we went to Trafalga and got her free taco at Del Taco from school. I think she enjoyed having mom's attention solely to herself (and the babies).

Alivia has new "prins" (friends) from school that she loves and they love her, as she is constantly telling me. It is going really well and she is learning a lot. She is a sweet girl and so easy most of the time, until she gets near the computer. I can't keep her off!

Soran is, well, my two-year-old in a 1-year-old body. She is so into everything and her favorite word is "don't." She has learned to bite (in self-defense, I know) and while she only has 6 teeth, it hurts. She's like the kimodo dragon, she won't let go.

Scott loves his new job and the freedom it gives him to do other things. His car has been breaking down a lot and he's spent a few weekends working on it. He's so handy! I had my procedure in September. It was short and went well, but having a bunch of kidney stones at the same time was incredibly painful. I wound up in the emergency room to get some pain medication. Thank goodness that's over. And the doctor said I have a 50/50 chance of never having one again. Pretty good odds. Between that and the stomach flu I have been down a lot this month. I have become so grateful for my health. When they were putting me out the doctors couldn't believe I had 5 kids, and they said, "we better get you out of here quick so you can take care of them." No kidding. Well, now that my morning is gone, I'm outta here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Labor Day weekend

Amber lost her first front tooth

Little rock climbers

Playin' in the dirt

Well, I must just love to be in the hospital around holidays. Lyssa was born Mother's Day weekend, Livi was born on Memorial Day, Soran was born on Earth day, I was in the hospital on Thanksgiving Day when pregnant with Soran, on my birthday last year, and on Labor Day weekend this year! Maybe I'm trying to get away from all the family, or maybe just the dishes. Anyway, after Christian's baptism, I must have worn myself out. We went to Swiss days in Midway and then baby-sat that night. When I tried to go to sleep I couldn't. My side just hurt too bad. I tossed and turned for a couple hours before Scott came in and asked if it was my kidney. It took me a second to realize it was. I was so out of it. After taking painkiller and hydrocodone and still being in pain, we went to the hospital. Three hours later they came and told me I had a "freaking huge kidney stone" (direct quote from the doctor) and it wasn't coming out on it's own. More doctor and hospital visits later I get to have a procedure next week. They knock you out and pound you with waves 3,000 times. Should be fun.
But we did manage to have some fun on Labor Day. We went up to Sandy and hiked Little Cottonwood canyon and picked up some of the same granite they used to make the Salt Lake temple. It's beautiful stone. And the canyon's not bad either. Then we had dinner and hung out with the Massengales. Thank goodness for modern medicine!

Christian's baptism

Christian and his cake

Luncheon afterwards

Christian and Mom and Dad

Christian and Dad
I know some people may say that 8 is too young for children to decide what they really want. But I know that Christian made this decision on his own. I try to make sure my kids know what they're doing and ask them if they're ready to do it. He had no hesitations. I am excited that he has a constant companion with him now to help him.
It was a beautiful fall day. Sister Taeger and Cami spoke at his baptism and in the confirmation circle were Dad, Grandpa Reece, Grandpa Thompson, Uncle Ben, Uncle Jeremy, Uncle Mike and Uncle Nick. We had a luncheon at my favorite park afterwards. I'm so proud of you, Christian!

First day of school 2010

First day 2010 (Christian really is excited)

Time is getting away from me. The summer flew by too quickly and the kids are back in school. I really agonized over where to send them this year. I liked their school last year, but we weren't sure if it was worth the drive, the uniforms and the school fees. After much discussion we decided to send them to the school near our house. It's the worst school in our city which is hard for me to deal with, but they're loving it. There are computers on all the desks and they get to see their cousins and friends from church. I'll just have to put forth a little more effort to make sure they don't fall too far behind. I must admit it's nice not to have to drive 2 hours a day back and forth. And they get to wear all their regular clothes.
It's going to be a busy year. Alyssa is in flag football (which the coach is trying to overrun our lives with--5 games/practices last week), ballroom dance twice a week, piano and activity days. Christian started Cub Scouts which he really enjoys and he started piano lessons and we're going to put him into basketball. Amber is taking dance from Vicki again (yeah!) and also an art club after school.
Scott has a lot of free time now with his new job so he joined his cousin's football team. They have been playing for several years now and are pretty good, but they let him join anyway. Actually, I am always impressed with how well my husband does athletically. Probably because it's so out of my league.
This leaves Livi, Soran and I at home. We're back to storytime at the library and I started a preschool group. We had our first classes this week. I think it will be fun. Livi has lots to learn.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kansas trip part IV--Kansas!

Well, the pictures are in reverse (aren't they always) so we'll go backwards. The last day was Maggie's baptism. She was radiant and it was a great time. We had lunch and left. We saw some pretty cool hailstorms on the way to Colorado and Soran puked all over me. The second to last day we went to a space museum which was very informational and had some cool things, but way over the kids' heads. We saw a lot of stuff that had actually been to space and then watched a show where they blew up a bunch of stuff. For me, the coolest thing by far was the piece of the Berlin Wall they had. The picture is really grainy because it was dark down there, but what a great piece of history!
Space museum--Blackhawk something or other
An ACTUAL piece of the Berlin Wall--cool

We took a walk in a nature preserve place and it was beautiful. There were lots of turtles in the water the kids loved. Then we went to Doug and Sara's awesome YMCA. It had a lazy river, pool, toys, hot tub, tube rides--it was a lot of fun. Then the kids went to the drive-in to see Cats & Dogs. I stayed with the babies which was fun for me.
Soran at the nature museum

It was really hot the first couple days. We went to the Indian statue thing in the middle of the river and then to the outside shopping plaza where the kids made a beeline for the fountain and cooled off. Then we went to the Nifty Nut House for the best candy selection and prices EVER. We made another trip back there before we left. Then we went shopping at the mall and that night to the zoo. I wish I had more pics of that. It was great. They had exhibits where you could go in and feed the animals and touch them--monkeys, birds, turtles, kangaroos. It was much more fun than a regular zoo.
Soran and Livi enjoying the fountains
It was so HOT
Troll in the sewer
Family pic at the Indian statue
We also had dinner at an Amish restaurant. We visited an Amish town in Missouri, too. We saw a man tilling his land with his horses and plow, people driving in their buggies and went shopping at some stores. They have really neat accents (they speak German in the home) and they use safety pins on their clothes, no buttons or zippers. Kind of cool.
This was a great vacation! Thanks to Doug and Sara and everyone else who made it so memorable!